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10 Foundational Words to a Biblical Worldview

The LuHi Theology Department is a close-knit group of teachers who are passionate about their subject and deeply care for their students. In their department meetings, you would witness their genuine concern for ensuring that every student hears the gospel daily. Their dedication to accurately teaching the Bible is evident as they thoughtfully discuss the best practices for presenting complex topics clearly. They aren't afraid to challenge one another. At the end of the day, you would see a unified team committed to properly teaching biblical truths.

A foundational topic in their teaching is the Ten Words unit. When you hear "Ten Words," you might think of the Ten Commandments, but this unit is different. The department believes these are ten words every Christian should understand before diving into deeper theological waters. The Ten Words are crucial because they shape the worldview from which all four years of Theology classes are taught.

Each Word's definition aims to convey three key points:

  • We believe what God says in His Word. He is trustworthy and true.
  • The focus of these words is on Jesus, not on us.
  • We rely more on God’s Word than our own reason, even when it's complicated.

This August, we will release a series of animated videos on the Ten Words. Before that, we wanted to introduce each Word. Below, you can see the Ten Words and their corresponding definitions:

Original Sin

God created all things perfect and whole. Adam and Eve fell into sin, and everything changed. The relationship with God was severed. Death came into the world, and everything fell apart. God’s intention was for his creation to live in unity with Him. Now, because of original sin, we are all separated from Him. We need a Solution.

Actual Sin

Our inclination towards sin runs deep. There is nothing good in us. Every thought, word, and action—the things we do—that are opposed to God’s design is actual sin. We tend to think of our sinful actions as the problem, but they are symptoms of the disease of original sin. We are bound to sin and dead in our sin. We need a Savior.


Because of our sin, we live outside of God’s design. The law is written on the human heart. Scripture calls it a conscience, showing right from wrong. God’s written moral Law—such as the Ten Commandments—shows us we cannot meet His standard. It shows us we are dead and separated from Him. We need a redeemer.


The gospel is God’s word of good news that forgiveness and salvation are available for all by grace through faith in Jesus's death and resurrection. Jesus is our Solution, our Savior, and our Redeemer.

Substitutionary Atonement

The consequence of sin is death and complete separation from God. Sin can’t go unpunished because of who God is: a fair Judge. Because of His love for us, He sent His Son Jesus to endure on the cross, the punishment that we rightly deserve and cannot pay. Jesus is our substitute.


Apart from Jesus, we are enemies before God the Father. He declares us free from accusation because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Instead of our sin, He sees us robed in the righteousness of His Son. In His eyes, it’s just as if we had never sinned. Jesus is our Redeemer.


Grace separates Christianity from every other religion. We live in a world where we try to earn everything. But grace is a gift. Grace is God’s compassion, unconditional love, and mercy toward unworthy people. Grace is the foundation of the Gospel. Jesus is the embodiment of grace.


The Holy Spirit creates faith in our hearts. The essence of saving faith is not a feeling, knowledge, or wishful thinking. It is a dependence on Jesus and His work. Like grace, faith is a gift. Faith is the assurance of God’s promises, trusting that His death and resurrection save me.

Means of Grace

So, how does the Holy Spirit create and sustain faith in our hearts? God’s Word. God’s Word, combined with water, bread, and wine, are the ways He promises to create and sustain faith. What a comfort these are. We cling to the promise that we receive faith, forgiveness, and salvation outside of ourselves.


Our lifelong temptation will be to think either we can earn our salvation or live for ourselves. On this earth, we will live in the tension of both sinner and saint. The Holy Spirit’s ongoing work is transforming us to be like Jesus, preserving us in the one true faith. We look forward to Jesus’ return when He will make all things new.

Stay tuned for the video versions of the 10 Words. They drop this fall.

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